Middle East

Iran's 1st international marathon begins, with no Americans

  • Participants of the Tehran Marathon runs while women clap in front of the Azadi (Freedom) monument tower in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April, 7, 2017. Iran's Track and Field Federation chief Majid Keyhani had said Wednesday there was no ban on any nationality in what he called the "Persian Run." (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

    Participants of the Tehran Marathon runs while women clap in front of the Azadi (Freedom) monument tower in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April, 7, 2017. Iran's Track and Field Federation chief Majid Keyhani had said Wednesday there was no ban on any nationality in what he called the "Persian Run." (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Runners run during the Tehran Marathon, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April, 7, 2017. Iran's Track and Field Federation chief Majid Keyhani had said Wednesday there was no ban on any nationality in what he called the "Persian Run." (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

    Runners run during the Tehran Marathon, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April, 7, 2017. Iran's Track and Field Federation chief Majid Keyhani had said Wednesday there was no ban on any nationality in what he called the "Persian Run." (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)  (The Associated Press)

  • An Iranian soldier hands a bottle of water to a British runner during the Tehran Marathon, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April, 7, 2017. Iran's Track and Field Federation chief Majid Keyhani had said Wednesday there was no ban on any nationality in what he called the "Persian Run." (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

    An Iranian soldier hands a bottle of water to a British runner during the Tehran Marathon, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April, 7, 2017. Iran's Track and Field Federation chief Majid Keyhani had said Wednesday there was no ban on any nationality in what he called the "Persian Run." (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)  (The Associated Press)

Iran has started its first international marathon, calling it an opportunity for "building bridges, breaking barriers" though no American runners are participating.

Iran's Track and Field Federation chief Majid Keyhani said Wednesday there was no ban on any nationality in what he called the "Persian Run."

The race's website listed 28 Americans among the registered runners, along with participants from more than 40 countries, including Britain, Canada and Saudi Arabia.

"We have sent all runner names to Iran's Foreign Ministry for issuing visas," he said.

Iran stopped issuing visas to U.S. citizens after President Donald Trump first announced a travel ban on Iranians and citizens of six other Muslim-majority countries in January. Tehran later allowed American wrestlers to travel to Iran to participate in a world championship.